Welcome To Lazarus

Instead of a "BANG", humanity is passing away with the shuffling of dead feet, and hungry moans. Desperate men and women fight against the rising tide for the newly risen dead.Sometimes, though, the undead are not he most dangerous things out there. Civilization has failed the test; the only thing left is survival.

Lazarus is just one of many places where humanity holds on by a thread, and life and death come as easily as a roll of the dice.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Khurasan Survivors Painted

It took me longer than I wanted; my work schedule and Modern Warfare 3 kind of threw me off this week.  Ultimate, though, I finished them.  My figs are not nearly as nice as the one on the Khurasan site; still, I am happy with them.

I used a simple wash to finish them.  I may buy another set and give them another try.  I'd like to see if I could come close to the examples on the Khurasan site.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Orpheus Reborn - PT 4 of 4 (Zombie Fiction)

Security arrived moments after Stephanie’s breakdown, and the police arrived 5 minutes after that.  By the time the paramedics arrived, Mr. Owen had gone into deep shock.  The paramedics weren’t sure if he would make it to the hospital.  A second team treated Stan’s arm.  They suggested he go to the hospital, but he refused.  He had a terrible dislike for hospitals; feeling that they where sick people went to die.

The police detectives that questioned him were looking for answers he didn’t have.  They questioned more people as they arrived at work.  Everyone was in wonder that Dr. Goodson could do such a thing.  The police cordoned off the third floor.   Stan’s boss arrived, and after talking to the police walked over to Stan.  After shaking his hand, he told Stan to go home, and call in Monday. The police detective gave him a card and told him to call him, if he could think of anything else.  By 1PM, Stan was sitting alone in is 2 room apartment.  Stan sat there waiting for the shock of the day’s events to sink in.  By 5PM, he had felt nothing.  He actually had begun to feel anxious.  "It’s Friday, time to get going," he thought to himself.  After showering, he packed a bag, as he did once every month, and headed out the door.

Stan spent the night, and next day wandering around Manhattan.  He always enjoyed these trips, because he always saw something new.  After a long day, he went back to his hotel.  He was feeling a little ill, and wanted to rest, before "his girl" showed up.  Candi arrived at 8PM sharp.  He had been with her before and despite feeling ill, was looking forward to the things she could do with her tongue.  Stan laid the money on the dresser and then proceeded to partake in his monthly ritual.

The sex was labored.  Candi pretended that it as the best she had ever had, as she did for every trick.  She could not help but think that his heavy breathing was indication of him being sick.  When his forehead touched her chest, she couldn’t miss the heat caused by a fever.  Stan’s body tensed as he finished his business with her.  After a bit, Candi got up from the bed and went to the restroom.  Normally, she would take the man’s condom off, and disposed of it.  This night was different.  Stan always paid extra for a prostitute that would not make him wear one.  Candi knew the risks involved, but the extra money, and the fact that she could not have children made it worthwhile.
After washing herself, she began to reapply her makeup.  She could hear a racking cough from the other room.  "Honey", she called, "I hope you didn’t give me that crap you got.  If you did, I’m gonna have to cut you off."  There was no answer.  She finished and came out of the bathroom.  Stan had already fallen into a restless sleep.  She took the stack of money and stuffed it into her bra.  She found his wallet and checked to see if there was any more there.  It was empty; she tossed it back onto the dresser with a sigh.  Unknown to her, though, Stan had given her more than just a nights pay.  The virus from the Orpheus Serum, which the good doctor had transferred to him, was now working its way through her body.  Adjusting herself, she left the room.  There was a convention across town, and she wanted to make it over there, before all the horny conventioneers had blown their wads, so to speak.

Candi made it to the convention, and had at least 5 more paychecks that weekend.  By the time she was finishing with the last trick on Sunday evening, Stan lay wheezing in his rented bed.  His forearm was festering, and he had an extreme fever.  He was too weak to even call for help.  By the time Candi was at home showering, Stan was dead, ravaged by the Orpheus virus, and her weekend tricks were on their way home.  Several of the conventioneers had dipped into other women, and shared the present that Candi had given them.  As she read the Sunday paper that night, she saw an interesting story about a crazy man from Chicago, who had been pronounced dead at a Long Island hospital, only to get up and attack several hospital workers, before being killed.  She had no way of knowing but Stephanie Nielson lay dieing in a hospital bed as well.  By Monday morning, there would be another story, asking how it could happen twice, as a young woman in the same hospital had attacked and either killed or wounded several people.

The manager of the hotel Stan had been staying in would be dead by Monday afternoon, and 3 others would be in the hospital with bites.  Candi would read about the attack in Tuesday’s paper, but had no idea that Stan was involved.  On Wednesday afternoon, she was cursing Stan, as she had begun to feel a little under the weather.  She pulled a couple of escorts that night but hung it up early.  By the time she took to her bed several of the conventioneers had passed Orpheus to their wives.  One of the wives had additionally given the secret gift to her tennis instructor.

On Friday night, Candi took her last breath.  By the next evening, there had been reports of crazed, cannibalistic attacks in several cities.  One of those stories involved an escort worker in New York City who had attacked and killed 3 people and sent 5 to the hospital, before being killed herself.  News of these attacks was overshadowed by a major power outage on the East Coast and events overseas.  It wasn’t for another week that authorities began to become alarmed by these attacks. By that time it was too late, Orpheus had already slammed into humanity with a vengeance.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Orpheus Reborn - Pt 3 of 4 (Zombie Fiction)

At 07:05AM, Stephanie Nielson pulled it the parking lot of a squat 4-story medical research facility in western Long Island. She was running late, so she jogged up to the building and through the double doors.  Surveying the lobby, she saw a nice dressed man with a briefcase sitting in the waiting area.  He looked up with a smile as she approached; hand out stretch.  "Mr. Owens? Stephanie Neilson; I am sorry I am late, traffic was terrible." she said shaking his hand.

"It's quite alright, I understand."

Pointing to the elevators, she said, "Let's head up and find Dr. Goodson. He can give you a brief rundown of what he has and the sample."  They walked past a security guard who was busy reading the morning sports section.  They reached the elevators and she pushed the up button.  They made small talk as they waited for the elevator, which arrived shortly.  The door opened and Stephanie stepped forward, only to pull up with a start.  She had almost run into a janitorial cart.  A middle-aged maintenance man sheepishly said, "Excuse me" as he moved the cart to make room for them.  "Which floor, Miss Nielson?" he asked after they had stepped in.

"Three, please, Stan", was the reply.

"Ah, that’s where I'm going, too."  

Once the car came to a stop, the doors opened.  All three and the cart exited the elevator.  Stan, the janitor, stopped in the lobby area of the 3rd floor and started to mop, while Stephanie and Mr. Owens continued down the hall.  They went halfway down and stopped at one of the doors.  The door was unlocked, which was unusual, because the doctor had a habit of locking it if he came in before normal business hours.  She said nothing.  In the office were a number of desks and workspace, which are normal fare for a medical lab.  On the back of one of the chairs hung a worn jacket, Stephanie made note that it was the same one the Dr. had on the day before.  Had he worked all night, she wondered silently.  "Dr?" she said, only to receive no answer.  "He must be in back; in the clean room.  That's where we keep the serum", she said leading Mr. Owens around the corner.

They rounded the corner and faced a wall with three hooks.  From 2 of the hook hung smocks and clear plastic face masks, the third hook was empty.  They turned to face a wall, whose upper half was glass.  In the middle of the wall was a door, with a magnetic swipe lock next to it.  On the other side of the wall were several tables, cabinets and a refrigerator.  Several things struck them as odd as they surveyed the scene.  The first was that there was no one visible, from their vantage point.  The second was that the door to the refrigerator stood open and it looked as though the contents had been dumped.  Lastly, and most alarmingly there was a dark substance smeared, which looked like dried blood, across the window of the door.  "Omigawd! Dr.!" Stephanie said loudly.  Stepping forward she could see more of the room.  There was a figure crouched beside one of the tables, it appeared to be inspecting some sort of liquid on the floor.  With excitement in her voice she pounded the window, "Dr. Dr., what's wrong?"

The figure slowly stood, as though in a stupor, and turned.  Stephanie struggled to get her mag-card out.  She swiped it through the reader, and the door made an electric click.  She pushed the door open and entered.  Mr. Owens who had been standing behind her followed her.  As she entered the room the figure had made it completely around to face them.  There was blood down the side of his smock, and his right hand was bloody.  Stephanie took a step forward, then stopped as she looked into the doctor’s face.  There was something not quite right.  His mouth was agape; lips dried, and his skin had a grayish tone to it.  Most striking were his eyes.  They were clouded over, as though covered with a film.  The Dr.'s arms reached out, hands forming into claws.  As he stepped forward, what can only be described as a hungry growl came from his throat.

Stan enjoyed working the early shift.  It gave him time to be alone.  Slowly wiping his mop back and forth, he swabbed the floor.  Being Friday, his mind wandered to what he would be doing this weekend.  This weekend was his monthly trip to the city.  He liked his trips to the city, because he could see "his girl".  His girl wasn’t actually his.  She was actually any number of girls working for an escort agency that Stan frequented.  He called the working ladies of New York City "his girl", in order to not feel guilty about paying for sex.  Stan was shocked out of his thoughts by a blood curdling woman's scream, followed by the crash of glass.  "What the...?" he said aloud.  There was another cry, this time from a man.  Stan reached down and took the walkie talkie off his belt.  Pressing the talk button he said "Bob...Bob...get security on the horn.  There is something going on up here on three."
"What is it?' a crackling voice asked.
"I ain't sure, just do what I asked, you idiot" Stan snapped.  Holding his mop with both hands he cautiously went down the hall.  Once he reached the door Ms Nielson and her guest had entered he stopped.  He put his hand on the knob and took a deep breath. Behind the door he could hear the sounds of a desperate struggle.  He flung the door open and jumped through the opening.  He tried to look as fierce as possible, but it did little good.  In front of him were 2 men grappling with each other.  He recognized one from the elevator, and the other was Dr. Goodson.    He opened his mouth to say something just as the Dr. clamped his teeth on the man’s forearm.  Even through the man’s suit, Stan could tell it was painful.  The man threw his head back and screamed.  Dr. Goodson released his bite and sprang upwards.  In a flash he bit down hard on the man’s neck; blood fountained from a gaping wound.
With that, Stan sprang into action.  He swung the heavy end of the mop and caught the doctor across the shoulder.  The mop handle splintered; the head smashing glassware on the table across the room.  The blow was enough to knock Dr Goodson off the man’s neck.  Stan fought the urge to wretch, as he watched skin and muscle pull away with the doctor’s teeth.  He turned towards Stan, with what Stan could only later describe as "dead eyes".  A guttural growl came from between blood drenched lips.  He lunged forward, slamming into Stan.
Stan raised his arm instinctively.  The doctor’s teeth wrapped around Stan’s bare forearm; pain shot up his arm.  Terror gripped Stan.  In desperation he swung the broken mop handle up as hard as he could.  The sharp tip entered the bottom of the Dr’s jaw.  The momentum of the strike pushed the handle through the soft palette of the his attacker’s mouth and into his brain cavity.  Blood poured down Stan’s hand, making the handle slippery.  Dr. Goodson straightened and his grip on Stan relaxed.  Stan pushed as hard as he could and the Dr. toppled over the edge of a desk, taking a stack of papers to the floor with him.

Stan fell to one knee, holding his bleeding arm.  He looked at it in shock.  Despite the pain, the wound wasn’t as bad as it looked.  Much of the blood wasn’t his.  He scuttled across the floor to the man the doctor had been attacking.  He lay on the floor, withering in pain.  He was holding his neck trying to stanch the blood flow.  He heard a whimper to his right.  He turned to see Ms. Nielson tucked into a corner.  She had cuts and scratches across he face and neck.  On her upper chest was a round hole, which looked as though someone had taken a bite out of her.  He went to her and touched her leg, at which point she screamed and went into total hysterics.

Too Be Continued...

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Mob Rules: ATZ Campaign Day 8

“The natives are getting restless”, the watch supervisor announced to the ragged looking officers in front of him.  The men in front of him and spent the last 48 hours trying to contain the craziness that had erupted in the city.  The department had already lost a hand full of men; dead and wounded.  Many civilian had also suffered the same fates, as well.  “They want more action, and they want it yesterday.”

“Well what are we supposed to do”, replied one of the men, “with all these killings and attacks, were spread so thin, we can barely take care of ourselves.

“Word is that they want the city to arm them, so they can protect themselves…and that ain’t gonna happen,” was his answer.  “A CI says that a group plans on going to the Mid Town sub-station and demanding arms.  We are going to send what manpower we can over there and see if we can nip this in the bub.  The last thing we need right now is a bunch of armed civilians running around the city.  Baakus, take these 5 men, draw riot gear and get over there ASAP.”

Baakus nodded, thinking to himself, “Great”, as he tiredly rose and headed to the armory.

Special Rules:
Using the Mob rules from eh “ATZ: Haven” book

Setup Up:
The board shows the street leading up to LPD Mid-Town sub-station (left end of board)

Baakus and 5 other officers have set up barricades and formed a line.  They are equipped with riot gear, with one of the men carrying a tear gas launcher.  Baakus stands next to one of the patrol cars, so he can use the mike to try and persuade the gathering crowd to disperse.

Down the street a crowd has gathered around a burnt out truck in the intersection.  It is the only evidence that anything is out of the norm in this part of town, as most of the attacks have taken place in Downtown and Westside.  The crowd mummers, as it builds up the courage to move on the police station.

Turn 1: (Police 1, Mob Mo Move)
Mob Rep: 3        
Police Move:  Officer Baakus gets on the loud speaker and tells the crowd to disperse

Turn 2: (Mob 3, Police No Move)
Mob Rep: 2
Mob Move:  The mob mills about but doesn't advance (Pass 1, Mob Move)

Turn 3: (Police 4, Mob 2)
Mob Rep: 2
Police Move:  Officer Baakus again tells the mob to disperse.
Mob Move:  The mob moves slowly towards the police officers.

Turn 4: (No Move)
Mob Rep: 2

Turn 5: (Police 4, Mob 1)
Mob Rep: 3
Police Move: Once of the officers retrieves and readies a tear gas launcher
Mob Move:  The mob mills about in place (Pass 1, Mob Move).

Turn 6: (Police 3, Mob No Move)
Mob Rep: 2
Police Move: Officer Baakus again tries to tell the crowd to disperse and told his men to don their masks.

Turn 7: (Mob 1, Police No Move)
Mob Rep: 1
Mob Move:  Officer Baakus's words seem to have an effect, as the mob stops and mills about for a moment(Pass 1, Mob Move)
Police Move:  The police stand fast

Turn 8: (Mob 3, Police 1)
Mob Rep: 1
Mob Move:  The mob surges forward again
Police Move: Officer Baakus gives the word to fire the tear gas.  The officer takes aim at the front row and pulls the trigger. The gun goes "BLOOP" and a smoking canister sails down the street.  As it reaches the front rank, it exploded, creating a billowing cloud a acrid smoke.  The first two ranks break and head away from the burning gas.  The mob rep drops to 2.

Turn 9: (Police 1, Mob No Move, Zombies No Move)
Mob Rep:  The crowd disperses, as the tear gas wafts down the street (Pass 0, Mob Rep)
Zombie placement:  From the back room of the convenience store, by the Police Station, rises and surveys its surroundings.
Police Move:  The police officer with the tears gas launcher readies to fire a second round. 

Turn 10: (Police 4, Zombies 2)
Police Move:  The police officers stand watching the crowd dissolve away
Zombie Move:  The zombie makes its way to the front of the store, and peers out the window.

Turn 11: (Zombies 3, Police 1)
Zombie Move:  The zombie charges out the ajar front door.  Surprised, none of the officers could react in time.  The closest officer had his back to the door.  The zombie crashed into the officer's back; it's weight knocking the man to the ground.    The zombie clawed and snapped, tearing at the man' exposed flesh at the nape of his neck.
Police Move:  Roused from their shock, the men moved to help their comrade.  The man with the tears gas launcher raises it above his head.  With a grunt, he brought the butt of the weapon crunching down on the zombie's head, killing it a second time.

As tear gas wafted through the air, and the crowd disperses down the street, the police render aid to the man who was attacked.  The men who were still under the impression that this was just civil unrest looked in disbelief on the dead zombie.  Staring at the ravaged form, with its skull caved in, Most of them came to realization of what Baakus already knew; this was worse, something much worse.  Several of them made comments about taking their families and getting out of dodge, before things got worse.

Game Notes:  I am not sure I played the mob rules correctly, or if I just had some really crappy rolls.  The crowd never worked itself up to actually attacking the police, and I played Baakus in a very conservative manner.  I figured with all that was going on, he didn’t want to cause things to escalate, unless he and his men were actually in trouble.  As it worked out, he held the tear gas back, until the mob got quite close, and just happened to have a really low Mob Rep.

I may play this type of scenario, again, just to see what happens.  if I do, I am also going to to add in my intrepid film crew, as this is the stuff that sells big time on the major networks.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Orpheus Reborn - Pt 2 of 4 (Zombie Fiction)

The door to the airtight compartment open with a whoosh, Dr. Thomas Goodson reached in with a gloved hand and took out a sealed vial.  He held it up in front of a visored face to examine it.  Inside the glass container was the culmination of 2 years worth of work, and what could be the beginning of a new age.  Inside the container was Batch 49-C of the Orpheus Serum; an experimental serum that the Dr. felt contained the key to prolonging human life.

Six months prior, the Dr and his assistant had stumbled on a curious mutation in a genetic experiment they were conducting.   The change had taken the Orpheus Project, his project, from a dead end endeavor into what quite possibly could make him, and many other people famous.  Over the last 6 months, they had poured over the results of countless tests and come up with some very interesting findings.

The Orpheus Serum could retard the decomposition of human tissue samples.  It was also self-replicating, as it fed off the tissue sample.  An unfortunate by-product of this synthesis was that a virus in the serum made a toxic mix that could theoretically prove harmful to a human host.  The Dr. was not too terribly worried about this possibility, as he was confident that with proper testing and development the serum could be made harmless.  Lastly, and most strangely, as the virus fed off the tissue sample, it created an electrical charge.  The doctor had run the numbers and theorized that given a large enough tissue sample and serum level that the charge would be equal to that which a fully-grown adult produced. 

The Dr. turned to look at the clock on the wall.  It read 11:30.  He had been at the lab, for 16 hours, and he felt it.  The only down side to the last 6 months, which had been the most exciting time in his professional life, was the fact that his health had slipped.  Despite his efforts, the schedule he had been forced to keep was more than his body could take.  His doctor had put him on blood pressure medicine and told him to slow down.  "Well," Dr. Goodson thought," half a day more, and I can slow down a bit."

The reason for this was that just the week before he had given a presentation to some bigwigs from the corporate HQ in Chicago.  They had flown to New York City, and made the trip out the western Long Island, just to hear it.  He had heard no feedback on the meeting until yesterday.  He had received a phone call telling him to prepare a sample, and all his notes.  A courier would be there in the morning to pick it up and bring it to Chicago.  If everything went well, the Dr. would be moved to the corporate HQ, and given carte-blanc to fully develop the Orpheus Serum for commercial use.  He had stayed late to get things in order.  Stephanie had previous plans, so he had let her go the evening before, as long as she promised to show up in time to greet the courier, who would be there a 7AM, and escort him to the lab.

Dr. Goodson turned and moved towards the carrying case lying on the table.  As he crossed the room, he felt a tingle run down his left arm. He stopped with a quizzical look on his face.  His features went rapidly from astonishment to anguish as he felt a pain grow in his chest, only to explode throughout his body.  His knees buckled, causing him to drop to the floor.  He instinctively put his hands out to brace his fall.  As he did so, the vial he was carrying was crushed under the palm of his right hand.  The shards from the broken vial shredded the thin glove he had on, embedding themselves into his hand.   At this point the doctor could have cared less.  His chest felt like it as on fire.  A weak "Noooooooo" escaped his lips as he tipped to his side and slid to the floor.  His last thoughts were, "All the time and all the effort on the Orpheus Project, an attempt to prolong human life, and this is how it ends".

Shortly after 03:38 AM Dr. Thomas Goodson expired; the victim of a massive heart attack.  As he lay there growing cold on the floor, blood from his lacerated hand mixed with the sample of the Orpheus Serum that had been in the crushed vial.  At this point, nature took its course and the virus in the serum acted exactly as the Dr had felt they would, with one exception.

To be continued...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Orpheus Reborn - PT 1 of 4 (Zombie Fiction)

Author's note: This is the very first piece of Z-Fiction I wrote.  It is intended to set the back story as to how the undead came to be in my imaginary little world.  It is a longish piece for a blog, so I've serialized it and will post it over the next several days.  Be forewarned, towards the end of the story there is an adult theme; a scene with a prostitute, nothing graphic, though.  I tried to make it as tasteful as possible, without losing the essence of the scene.  If you are offended, I apologize.  I am also going to serialize this story across a couple of weeks, so I can post a couple of other mini related things, w/o overwhelming the readers. I hope you enjoy...

On western Long Island, a single light shone from the 4th story of a squat office building, which housed a medical research group.  An event was taking place that was so small that it would go unnoticed by everyone but those involved, for some time.
"Dr., look at this."
"What is it Stephanie?" Dr. Thomas Goodson said looking up from the papers in front of him.
"I’m not sure; I’ve never seen anything like this.  These samples from the latest batch of the Orpheus Serum are exhibiting some unusual characteristics."  Dr. Goodson adjusted his glasses and got up from his desk.  He was going on the long side of middle-aged; the gray was starting to win out on his head and mustache.  According to his colleagues, he looked like Capt. Kangaroo.  They had even gone so far as calling Stephanie, his young lab assistant, Ms. Greenjeans.  While the title irritated Stephanie at times, Dr. Goodson was good-natured enough to not be bothered by it.

He crossed the lab to where Stephanie sat.  She shifted away, so he could look at the microscope that sat on the counter. "Hmmm" he said as he looked through the eyepiece.  What the doctor saw would have been meaningless to most people.  To a trained geneticist, like Dr. Goodson, it was very interesting.  If one considered that for the last 14 months there had been absolutely no forward progress on the Orpheus Project and threats of de-funding had been made, what the he saw was even more interesting.

The Orpheus Project was his baby.  He had labored many years to get funding for it.  Dr. Goodson believed that by manipulating certain viruii and proteins he could make a serum that would help the paralyzed and aging.  So far, results had been less than promising.  After 14 months of failure, his corporate sponsors were putting the pressure on him for results.  Despite his good-natured appearance, the strain was increasing.  The Dr. knew that if he didn’t produce soon, his life’s dream would be shut down in the name of profit.  He checked the related notes, and then looked back into the microscope. His pulse went up with excitement, "Very interesting, indeed.  It appears that there has been some unexpected mutation in this batch, and they are multiplying.  Let’s start a series of Alpha tests and see what the outcome is."

"Uh, Dr. you realize its 2:30 in the morning right?  I agreed to stay late, but I am not staying here all night.  These samples will be here in the morning.  Besides, what will everyone say if the two of us spend the night together" she finished with a devilish grin.  Dr. Goodson looked at the clock, then back at Stephanie.  She was attractive, and if he were 20, oh hell whom was he kidding, 30 years younger the idea of spending the night with her would be exciting.  With a sheepish grin, he reached up and patted her on the shoulder.

"You’re right.  Let’s wrap it up and head home."  With thoughts of cancellation running through his head he sighed, "There’s always tomorrow."

Too be continued...

Monday, April 16, 2012

I Got My Khurasan Survivors and Zombies

I am a little geeked out about this.  I ordered the new Surivors and Zombies from Khurasan Miniatures the day they were released; what 3 days ago?  They arrived in the mailbox this afternoon.  I think that everything else is going to be put on hold, while I bomb these out.

My first impressions are that they were worth the money.  Seeing them in person, I appreciate the paint jobs on the Khurasan website even more.  These are loaded with detail.  It's going to be fun to paint these not-Walking Dead survivors.

The figs will fit in well with my other 15mm figs, and will make a good addition to my collection.  Below you see Rick and Shane with a Peter Pig Marine and a Rebel Mini Policeman.
The zombies are superb in the flesh, as well.  My only complaint, if you could call it that, is that the minis do have some flash on them.  It all looks minimal, though, and shouldn't be that hard to clean up.
Every zombie is a unique pose.  That should come in handy in adding some variety to my horde.  As you can see below, they scale well with my current Rebel Mini zombies, too.
Honestly, I think the crew at Khurasan have raised the bar on 15mm figure manufacturing, across the board.  They definitely have placed their zombie gaming figs above the fold, in my opinion.

Zombie Fiction

This is just kind of an FYI type of post; nothing really special.  I enjoy writing fiction, of various sorts.  It's a good way to keep the brain exercised, and work on honing communication skills.  Over the years, I've written a handful of vignettes set at the beginning of a Zombie Apocalypse.  I originally posted them  at "Homepage Of The Dead", which has a Fiction section for Zombie Fiction writers.

I've been thinking about it, and in an attempt to bring added entertainment value to WTL, I am going to start to re-post them here.  Additionally, it will give me a chance to bring them back (nominally) under my control, and add a bit of diversified content to the blog.  None of  my stories will ever be considered great works of fiction; other than maybe by the mentally deranged.  They are formulaic, pulpish affairs meant for my personal entertainment.  If other people like them, which I do hope they do, that's just gravy.  With any luck, these stories will provide a bit of inspiration and/or fodder for others zombie gaming

The first offering will be converted to a blog post and posted tomorrow.  I hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

WTL Is 1 Year Old!!!

Today is the one year anniversary of Welcome To Lazarus.  Over the last year, I''ve had a blast with this site.  I'd be posting stuff here no matter what; it's a good creative outlet.  Still, the people following this site and posting comments are what make it truly worthwhile.  I love the feedback and inspiration I get from reading your comments.

Used w/o permission from http://akedos.deviantart.com
Over the second year, I hope to do several things.  First, continue to bring you content that you find useful and enjoyable.  Secondly, be a bit more diligent on my WTL Campaign; at least back to once a month, if not more.  Lastly, I want to run a contest of some sorts.  If you have any suggestions on what type of contest to hold, please, feel free to post them.  I am at a loss, at the moment.

We'll see how things go; a year from now you can chastise me if I fail to follow through.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Rammbock, Berlin Dead, Movie Review

Well, it's time for another Zombie film review, thanks to Netflix Instant Watch.  As one might guess, from the title, "Rammbock: Berlin Undead" is a German undead flick, complete with English subtitles and all.

Micheal, who comes off looking very weak and whiny, goes to Berlin to plead for his ex-girlfriend Gabi to come back.  He arrives at her apartment just in time to A) find out she just left on some unknown errand and B) encounter the first undead in Berlin.  Quickly, the entire city is under siege from the rampaging undead, and Micheal finds himself hole up in Gabi's apartment building, with the other tenants.  Harper, a teenage plumbers assistant is safely ensconced in Gabi's apartment with Micheal, as well.  Micheal and Harper have their hands full as the building is attacked by the rampaging undead.  While staying alive, they run across Gabi, and interact with the other inhabitants of the apartment building.  In the end, Micheal isn't as weak and whiny as he first appeared.

My Thoughts

I'll admit, this isn't your typical zombie flick, in that it comes across as rather thoughtful.  It is by no means a mindless action romp, with heads exploding and bodies being torn to shreds, left and right. A lot of the interaction in the first half of the movie takes place across a court yard, as the neighbors are each holed up in their own apartments, and they yell out the windows to each other.  Each one has their own character, even if they are a little formulaic.  It's as if Micheal and Harper are watching TV, as the drama of the undead rising unfolds in each of the windows along the courtyard.

Once Micheal and Harper realize that they can no longer stay put, they effect a rather ingenious way to escape the apartment, whose front door is besieged by zombies.  As they make their way through he building, they encounter more resident alive and dead, and even run into Gabi.  There is a point where you can actually see Micheal transform from the whiny ex-boyfriend into what could be described as a heroic figure; even if that heroism is fatalistic in nature.  This is one of those movies that you have to see, so I won't ruin it by going into further detail.

 One thing that struck me, though, was that no one in the apartment building had any guns.   I understand the strict gun laws in Germany; it's just weird to have a zombie flick without heroes that are blasting zombies away when need be.  Another thing that I noticed was that the male characters, for the most part, seemed kind of metro-sexual.  I mean there were no characters like Ving Raimes "Dawn of the Dead" and such.  One would expect at least someone to step forth like that in a country that is so prone to knocking off its neighbors the way Germany has been over the last century, or so.  Oh well, times change, I guess.  Don't get me wrong, the movie has its share of tense moments, and gory zombie encounters.  That part of the movie won't leave the zombie fan wanting, by a long shot.

In the end, this movie is not the greatest zombie movie ever made.  I would put it in the top half, at the very least, if not top quarter.  The zombies are well executed, the acting, action and dialogue are solid. All of it comes together for an enjoyable move that I would definitely recommend to any zombie aficionado.

Here is the link to the German Trailer for the movie: Rammbock Trailer

Thursday, April 5, 2012

On The Workbench - 04/12

"On The Workbench" is a little late this month, because Spring Recruits a local convention in Lee's Summit, MO, was this weekend.  I bagged a boatload of stuff I've been reselling.  I've spent the last several days handling that, and haven't had precious little time to do much of anything else.   With a bit of luck, I'll have photos posted and a rundown of how the convention was in a few days.   Things have settled down, though that I can post this month's "On the Workbench". 

The new items and projects that I added stuff to are denoted by an * next to them.

On the Workbench for April 2012:
(This is all stuff that is partially finished; in no particular order)
10mm Ruins Project* - I got a pile of old Epic plastic ruins, which are replacing the foam core ruins I was going to build and use for my Mech Warrior project.
4 20mm Ruins* - Plastic 20mm ruins I am building for resale.
12 Acheson ATZ Minis - More minis for paint and review.
6'x4' Zuzzy Mat - Gaming Mat for my TEOTWAWKI project. 
15 28mm PA Survivors - 3, 5 man packs from Lead Adventure Miniatures 
18 Heroclix Figs - Figures for conversion into sci-fi and horror gaming minis
6  Pulp/Steampunk Minis - 6 figures left on the commission painting of some Fiendish Fabrications figures
20 Mantic Ghouls - Mantic Ghoul Regiment 
6 28mm Survivors - Obelisck Nighthawk gang
28mm Post Apoc Ruins Project - Ruins made from Gamecraft's Foamcore 6 story building.  This one is half done.

28mm Vehicles - 6-8 vehicles for my survivors
15mm Suburbia - Paper/foamcore houses for suburban Lazarus. 
50 20mm WWII Russians - Minis for a semi defunct NUTS! East Front project I planned
2 T-34/85s - Same As Above
Various Fantasy/Sci Fi minis - I have a box of old minis I use to try out techniques and hone my skills.  I have quite a few half painted figs that I'd like to finish

March's Finished Projects/Minis 
(I will be posting these up through out the month, as I get photos and such) 
10 x Fiendish Fabrications Mudmen - 10 more finished for THW.
20 x 15mm Peter Pig Figs - 20 more militia for my Ambush Alley game.
7 x 28mm Dragon's Teeth Terrain - Painted the resin peices I cast last month.
20 x 15mm Rebel Mini Riot Police - To Crack the heads of the rioters I did last month.
1 x HeroClix Conversion - Photo Pending.
If you don't see the above posted here, now or in the future, you can check out Zero Sum Solutions for them.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Making A Flying Base

As promised, I've created this quick and dirty tutorial on how to make a flying base.  It's a simple process which can turn out nice looking and very functional accessories for your table

You'll need the following:
Fender washer or CD; depending on the scale of your aircraft.  The process is the same, despite the scale.
Wire Hanger, or Bendable Metal Rod
Glue; Both SuperGlu or HotGlue will work
Modeling Clay
Rocks; optional
Earthtone Paints
Drill with a bit as big as your wire
Side-Snip Wire Cutters

Step 1:
The first thing you do is cut the wire hanger to the length you want. For 15mm, I use about 10-12 inches.   Make a hook in one end of the wire, then make a 90 degree bend in it.  See the photo below to get an idea of what it should look like.

 The Results of Steps 1 and 2

Step 2:
Use your glue to attach the wire to fender washer or CD.  The larger the loop you made, the more contact area you have with the base.  It's a good idea to try to make give the wire as much contact area as possible.

Step 3:
Take your drill and drill a hole in the bottom of your aircraft.  It's a good idea to  try and make it close to the center of gravity as possible, as this saves you some hassle making sure the model is stable when on the base, later on.  Test fit the aircraft to the wire.  At this point, I've seen people go all out, making sleeves that the wire fits into, or adding magnets.  That's great, if you want to do the extra work.  At smaller scales, though, it just doesn't seem worth it.

Step 4:
Once the glue has dried, take your modeling clay and build up the base. You can add any details you want. I use small rocks and sand.  I've seen people use a lot of other things, as well.  I even saw one base that had a house on it, with the wire running up through a smoking chimney!  If you need a bit of extra weight, to stabilize the base when the aircraft is attached, this is when you do it.  Use the optional rocks to give the base the needed heft.

 Step 4 Complete

Step 5:
The last step is to paint the base.  I use the same technique I use on my mini bases, only on a larger scale.  In a nutshell, I prime the, black (masking the wire in the process), then use my earth tones to give it color and pick out details.  Finally, I add flock and static grass.  I've seen people add trees and bushes, too.

The Finished Product

To use the bases, simply slide the aircraft on and off the wire when needed.  Pretty simple and quick to do.

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